Afghan 'fraud' puts Nato troops at risk, US report warns

US troops clear roads of IEDs in Panjwai district. 23 Sept 2012 Improvised bombs planted by the Taliban have killed hundreds of foreign troops

Nato forces in Afghanistan have been exposed to greater risk of Taliban attacks because of fraud, a US government agency has alleged.

A report said Afghan contractors paid to seal drainage channels - often used to hide explosives under roads - had failed to do so in more than 100 cases.

A criminal investigation is under way, senior generals have been told.

The BBC's Andrew North in Kabul says if proven, the case is likely to deepen mistrust between Nato and Afghans.

In a letter released on Thursday, special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction John Sopko warned senior commanders that an Afghan contractor paid to seal drainage systems along strategic roads had left the work undone or badly done.

The Taliban have often used drainage channels to hide improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Hundreds of foreign troops have been killed by such weapons since the war began in 2001.

To reduce the risk, the US military has paid contractors to install metal grates over the channels to prevent anyone getting inside.

But investigators said there was evidence of fraud in the work and in many cases no metal grate was installed at all.

"Given the increased risk of IED attacks against US forces resulting from missing or defective... systems, we are providing this information to you for immediate action and dissemination to all relevant personnel," Mr Sopko said in his letter to the top commander in Afghanistan Gen John Allen and Gen James N Mattis, head of the US Central Command.

Philip J LaVelle, a spokesman for the inspector general's office, declined to comment on whether any troops had been killed by the problem with the drainage channels.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features

  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima


  • A man hangs a Catalan flag at his balcony near Barcelona in 2013Caledonia homage

    Who are the Europeans with an eye on the Scottish referendum?


  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade


  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet


  • A woman dining aloneTable for one

    The restaurants that love solo diners


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.